PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Kinky Boots Star Celina Carvajal

By Matthew Blank
02 Apr 2013



Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: Lips trills and iced tea!
Most challenging role you have ever played: Playing Carly in BEDBUGS!!!
Craziest audition story: I won't get into the audition process for "Legally Blonde: The Search For Elle Woods" cause I could write an entire book about it.

How about my audition story for Cats? One random day my friend Noah Haydon called me up and said, "Celina you need to get here ASAP! Cats is auditioning the women in 2 hours." I ran over there with my hair in pig tails (cause it looked more like cat ears) dressed all in black and made it to the female open call. I made it through all the dance cuts and to the singing auditions.

I sang "Dance 10, Looks 3" and strutted around so confident. They asked me to sing something else in my book that showed my soprano… I chose to sing "A Sleepin' Bee" by Harold Arlen. Then they asked for another song… I sang "Losing My Mind!" A 17-year-old child in pigtails singing Losing My Mind!



I was one of the final girls to sing and when I left the audition I took the elevator with one of the creatives (can't remember who) and he looks at me and tells me that he missed his flight just so he could stay and hear me sing all those songs!
What has been the biggest challenge about this project? Playing the character no one roots for and getting my heart broken by Charlie (played by Stark Sands) every night.
What has been the most fun or fulfilling aspect? Working on this piece from the start with this wonderful creative team and cast.
Any upcoming or side projects you can talk about? Why yes! Currently I'm working with the hall of fame songwriter/producer Desmond Child on 2 solo albums. One all covers, the other all originals.
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: Losing my tail during the Jellicle Ball in Cats
Worst costume ever: I hate to say it but being an overweight male train conductor (with facial hair and full fabulous vampire glamour make-up) in Dracula, the Musical.
Worst job you ever had: This isn't gonna sound that bad (and I've been really lucky to never have to get a normal job) but playing male ensemble characters in Dracula, the Musical and having to lift really heavy things and do it all in super slow motion.
If you could trade roles with anyone in the cast for a week, who would it be? Billy Porter… I guess the show would be a little Victor/Victoria, but if you put enough make-up on me I look like a drag queen!
Leading lady role you've been dying to play: Janis Joplin in Love, Janis
Leading man role you'd like a shot at: There are soooo many, seeing as I consider myself a gay man trapped in a woman's body, but my picks are Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Frank-N-Furter in Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Something about you that surprises people: I'm a natural blonde.
Something you are incredibly proud of: Proud to be a part of Kinky Boots, proud of my band, proud to have come this far!
Something you're embarrassed to admit: I am and always will be a HUGE fan of "Sea Quest DSV!"
Career you would want if not a performer: I would totally be an interior designer! You better believe my dressing room is FULL OUT (as Jerry Mitchell would say)!
Three things you can't live without: Performing, iced tea and rock n' roll
"I'll never understand why…" … they cancelled "Sea Quest DSV"
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Put yourself out there as much as possible!